The Mayans Had It Wrong, It’s Only The End Of The Year, Not The End Of The World
After many years, I recently attended a show at the planetarium. The show was about the Mayan Long Count and how the world will end in 2012. Not only were the Mayans wrong, but the show was also obnoxiously vapid. The Mayans not only devised an elaborate estimation on when the world will end, but they also said that three worlds had already been destroyed. 21 December, 2012 will be the destruction of the fourth world. You can’t blame the Mayans for their gross miscalculations and outrageous statements: they were trying to succeed in a tough world. During the earliest parts of recorded history, the Chinese, Islamic, Egyptians, Indians, and others, were all trying to understand the universe and what it had to offer. It’s human nature to possess fascination, and why not be fascinated with unexplored territory which only reveals itself at the dark hours of the day?
And as the sun made way for the moon, and the moon for the sun, we grew as humankind. As the days passed, we learnt more than we could imagine. Technology is something we probably cannot live without, I know I can’t. Gaming, well, that’s something else. Without the discovery of how the moon can measure time, and beliefs that the world would end, we probably wouldn’t be where we are today. If there’s something that we can learn from all of this, it’s that it’s alright to be wrong. And that you shouldn’t really trust the media. Let’s go back about five to ten years, when you probably never heard of the Mayans. These folk only made headlines with their prediction of the world ending, and they only made this headline because someone thought it would be a great idea to strike fear in humanity. Except, it didn’t strike fear in humanity, for the most part. It only ever showed that media cannot be ignored.
Because media cannot be ignored, this article exists. And because media cannot be ignored, we’re inundated with stories and happenings from all over the world. Our fascination with new and undiscovered is greater than ever. And this generally leads to one thing: broken promises. Shall we revise the Mass Effect 3 saga?
Now, while you’re probably very different to me, we do have something in common. It’s called gaming. To dig a little deeper, we’re both visitors of eGamer. Because we like transparency, I’m going to let you know what to expect and where we’re going with eGamer in 2013. You’re as much a part of us as we’re a part of you. If you’d like, you can be the sun and we’d be the moon. We don’t mind being a big piece of cheese in the sky.
The South African interactive market is continuing to grow substantially. There’s so much going on, and so many people involved. It’s tough to keep up with what’s going on locally, never mind internationally. One thing about all of this is very simple: it wouldn’t exist without you. Because of that, we’re going to aim to be honest at all times and offer you the voice you need and deserve. As I’ve described above, it’s easy for the media to take an unimportant and untrue story and spin it to strike fear in the hearts of the masses. We don’t agree with that sort of publicity, and we believe that everyone should have a voice. Most of the time on eGamer, you won’t find controversial stories which spin a lot of hatred. You often won’t find stories for views, and stories which comment on ‘pressing issues’, such as females being harassed in gaming. We’re not going to tell you how to behave, and we’re not going to cry when something doesn’t go the way we want it to. We might however tell you that something is happening, and you should be aware.
There’s a vast difference between important stories and made up issues which attract a lot of hatred and varying opinions. We’re in it for the former, and we want you involved, too. As of 2013, we’re changing what we do and how we do it. We’re not only going to extend our offering, but we’re also going at aim our efforts at you, the gamer. We’re going to let you have your say, at the same place we have ours. We’re not special, so why should we be the only ones to share a viewpoint?
With 2012 almost out of the way, I am somewhat reluctant to talk about what happened. In fact, I prefer to focus on the future. The year passed by quicker than ever before, where games not only challenged us but also left us with lots of emotion. A famous publisher is in trouble, and for THQ the end of the world has seemingly arrived. However, as the Mayans have proven, expectations can often be wrong, and what the future holds is yet to be seen. While major highlights for 2012 are bound to be shadowed by 2013 — especially locally — I can only suspect that initiatives like 2upGamers will grow tremendously in the upcoming months, where we will continue to support what they are doing and why they are doing it. As other initiatives tend to grow, so will we.
Furthermore, with games growing as both art and a form of entertainment, it leaves us with the thought of: what are we missing, as a publication? After much deliberation, we have decided to add many new facets and faces to the eGamer team. Alongside our additions, we are also offering you the opportunity to get involved with the passion we both share. This is our future, the past is history.
As the local community grows in both casual and competitive form, we have decided that eSports will soon feature on eGamer. With the local community already boasting leaders in leagues and the like, we are looking to approach this in a more unique manner. That being said, eGamer will not focus on hosting private leagues or sponsoring teams, instead we will focus on bringing you what the rundown of the community is, and what’s actually going on. A few years back we debuted ‘Clan Reviews’, and while that was somewhat successful, we won’t be aiming our efforts in that direction again. Teams have proven time over time that they are too tough to keep up with, where a simple article offering coverage will only be relevant for a few weeks. We are looking at a long term plan for eSports, where we intend to grow what is already being offered. eSports is very seasonal and things are bound to change, therefore we will cater for this in our own way.
Keeping the above in mind, we are extending an invitation to you, to fall part of our new eSports team. We are looking for people who are driven, passionate and want to be part of a community. Whenever people possess these traits, we’re more than happy to offer full creative freedom and space to voice findings. eSports is very different from casual gaming, and with that being said we expect many hours chatting to players, watching games, and learning everything there is to know about a specific sector. If you believe you have what it takes, we’d really like to hear from you. If you are only interested in one game, then that’s even better, as we’re firm believers in specialisation.
Technology and peripherals go hand-in-hand with eSports, and as the proverb says, “a bad worker quarrels with his tools”. Peripheral companies have researched and developed products to the extent that players cannot complain about their tools, instead, the companies leave it up to the player him or herself to create mistake. The technology available to players today is fantastic, with headsets which offer all kinds of nifty sound features and mice which are completely customisable. It’s really on the player. But, the problem with all of this is: there’s just too much. At eGamer, we’re looking to differentiate between the products and what is out there. Not every device will suit every person’s need, instead it’s quite the opposite. A heavy mouse may put you off your game, where sound which isn’t clear and precise could be the difference between looking left and looking right. Either that, or the player has their headset on the wrong way.
eGamer has a very unique review system for games, and we have the ideology that we’d rather have one reader opposed to 500 if it means that we’re getting the whole, and true, story across. You’ll see from our reviews that we’ve eliminated scoring. We offer an in-depth analysis of the game in question, where one can either get a quick look or a detailed look which elaborates on the quick look. Because we’re going to be very new to peripheral reviews, we will more than likely develop our own system for this over time. Peripherals are very different to games and it is not very possible to use the same criteria for product comparison. Initially this will have us undergoing a bit of trial and error, but we firmly believe that with your help of telling us what you want and need, we can overcome this to offer the best review system possible.
Similar to eSports, if you have an interest in technology and peripherals, you are more than welcome to apply to help us out. We are looking for people who want to specialise in this division, therefore this will more than likely be your sole focus.
The next bit of growth in the technology sector is definitely the development of mobile gaming devices. With cellphone companies and the like all developing new tablets, developers are really getting on-board. It has been said many times that developers are only invested in mobile development because the technology is new and there is much to learn and explore. The current console cycle is many years old and developers are waiting for something new before they move forward with new ideas and games. This sounds like the wrong approach, because it means after three to five years the cycle is stale and we will receive recycled games. Fortunately, we are receiving a few new titles every now and then, however it’s nothing like what we will receive when the new consoles launch. I suspect that there could be a videogame ‘boom’.
iOS and Android are the two main contenders in the mobile and tablet market, and we plan to move into this market. Many fans have already requested that we look into these devices, and we’re happy to say that we are going to do so in 2013. Initially, we will start with iOS and iOS games. The iOS market is easily accessible for us and this is the main reason as to why we’re choosing iOS first, nothing more nothing less. We aren’t taking anything away from Android, it’s just about accessibility, first and foremost.
In our depart from technology, we have two very unique offerings available. We are actively looking for a ‘community manager’. With everything we’re doing and wanting to do in 2013, it seems a bit tough to dedicate our lives to social media. Furthermore, we’re very instant messaging and email based, so we’d prefer to chat over those mediums. Some of us are heavily invested in social media, but some of us really aren’t. At eGamer, we have always loved to chat to you, and we always want to know what’s on your mind and what you have to say. It’s something we pride ourselves on.
We refuse to let this slip with our extended offering, and because of that we are looking for someone who is willing to keep in contact with the community. While the majority of the staff will be on the front line chatting and communicating, we are looking for a dedicated person who will make this their mission. Someone who loves social media, people and talking. Someone who wants to be involved and someone who wants to help. A community manager is as much part of the team as anyone else, and we think that this person is what we need to take us to the next level, to give you what you need. eGamer is as much a team effort as it is an individual exercise.
One of the last openings for the start of 2013 is an opportunity for females. We are looking to invest in either one or two females who feel that they not only have something to say, but also have a vision for gaming. I cannot stress enough that we are looking for ladies with a vision and passion for gaming. You won’t need to know each console ever made, nor will you need to know every boss fight ever, you only need to know what you want and what you think we, as readers, want. To expand my wording a bit: we’re giving one or two females (if they want to work in a team) complete creative freedom to start their own offering on eGamer. We feel that a woman’s unique touch and experience with gaming will be wasted by doing conventional reporting, instead females should talk about the more unique side of gaming. I’ve kept this explanation very general, because if you’ve had thoughts of joining the media side of gaming, you might know where you can help with this. Simply put: we want to offer your vision to the masses.
The above mentions our external changes. The things you’ll notice first as the year progresses. Although those changes are more than necessary, our internals are also receiving a bit of a revamp.
Each and every week day for a very long time, we have offered a unique opinion column. Certain people have been offered the opportunity to share their views and thoughts on gaming, and as much as we want everyone to have a voice, we are going to change this up. The future will see less ‘official’ opinions and more writing from you. We plan to kick start Readers Digress once again, but this time it will be a bit more intense. We’re thinking writer write-offs, and that’s people competing for the best story. A competition for readers to win something with their very own words. We want you to be heard.
As we offer more for you, we’re going to change what we offer to you. Our reviews are currently very eGamerish, and we are planning to keep the experience true by allowing the best possible person to review the best possible game, for them. In other words, we’re looking to make sure an RPG person reviews an RPG game. All of this is for peace of mind that they know what they’re talking about, and so that you can trust their judgement. Each major game for the month will have a carefully selected reviewer critique the game. Your opinion will be equally as valid, as we will want you to comment and let us know how you feel about the game and the review itself. The way our system has been created is that the reviewer will need to elaborate on what he feels.
Our guides section will relaunch with more information and content than ever. The guides will not only explain cool things to do in a game, but also explain how you can do these things yourself. It’s positioned to be less of a ‘bragging right’ and more of an ‘explore games to the fullest’. eGamer has a wide array of writers, and with that we want to offer our knowledge to you. Everything will be catered uniquely to your needs. Because we’re very diverse, we can offer you what you want without hindering what someone else will want. There’s going to be a little something for everyone, but even then we’re aiming to have that ‘something’ very specialised so that it will be somewhat stimulating.
To achieve our goals, we’re going to undergo heavy campaigns to get our message out there. But, we won’t only focus on us, but you as well. That’s the entire aim of this year’s project. Be more than what we were, but not something which changes our fundamental beliefs.
So, the Mayans had it wrong. It’s not the end of the world but rather the end of the year. And in a few hours, it’ll be the start of a new year, and the start of a new beginning. We’re excited to share what we’re planning, and what we want to do in 2013. Here’s to looking forward and not worrying about the mistakes of 2012.
Finally, if you are interested in any of the positions mentioned above, send us an email. Tell us about yourself and what you’d be interested in, we’ll then tell you what’s required of you. To apply you will need to be at least 17 years old, with a strong writing ability, and most importantly, you will need to live in South Africa.